As the official Disney fan club, the D23 community is the place to revel in all things Disney! D23 hosts several events throughout the year, encouraging fans to come together to celebrate the stories Disney creates. One of the largest events of the year is Destination D23, which is usually hosted at Walt Disney World. Company representatives present various panels throughout the conference weekend, sharing behind-the-scenes information, commemorating company milestones, and making announcements. During this year’s conference, we learned about several new and exciting updates at Disney Parks, especially WDW. Here are the biggest announcements from this year’s Destination D23 event:
Some of the biggest announcements at the panel entitled “A Celebration of Disney Parks, Experiences and Products: Yesterday, Today and Tomorrow” were for Animal Kingdom. Josh D’Amaro, the Chairperson of Walt Disney Parks and Resorts, announced that an entirely new Zootopia-themed show will replace It’s Tough to Be a Bug at the Tree of Life Theater inside the park’s icon. Guests will explore the biomes mentioned in Zootopia and solve crime in the city alongside Judy Hopps, Nick Wilde, Dash, and Officer Clawhauser. The show promises to be a family-friendly adventure filled with humor and fun. This is a welcome change to the current attraction based on the 1998 Disney-Pixar film A Bug’s Life, which includes some intense scenes with effects that simulate insects crawling up guests’ backs and feet.
In addition, Dinoland, U.S.A., will be completely reimagined and take guests on a journey into the “Tropical Americas.” Presenters D’Amaro and Bruce Vaughn hinted that this area could include Encanto and Indiana Jones-themed experiences.
Several updates were about EPCOT:
Updates to Character Experiences
Ahsoka, from the Disney+ series of the same name, now greets guests at Disneyland. The character will be added to the Star Tours attraction at WDW, Disneyland Paris, and Disneyland. Asha, Disney’s newest princess from the soon-to-be-released film Wish, will greet guests at the theme parks later this year. The panel concluded with an appearance from Figment and the announcement that his new meet and greet location at EPCOT would open on September 10th. Figment now greets guests at the ImageWorks section of the Imagination Pavilion (at the end of the Journey into Imagination attraction).
Updates from Around the World
The presentation also provided updates from Disney Parks around the world. There was a sneak peek of the World of Frozen Land at Hong Kong Disneyland and the Zootopia land at Shanghai Disneyland. We also got a behind-the-scenes look at the construction of the Disneyland Hotel at Disneyland Paris and new areas in the Fantasy Springs area of Tokyo Disneyland.
Disney Cruise Line
We learned more about the three ships currently in development. Details about the Disney Treasure were recently released (we’ll have an in-depth preview of the ship later this month). The name of DCL’s seventh ship was also announced: Disney Adventure. Updates were provided about the cruise line’s newest island experience, Lighthouse Point. Cruises to this new destination in the Bahamas will begin in 2024.
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